Date of Submission

Spring 5-3-2017

Degree Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Ermal Shpuza

Secondary Advisor

Dr. Pegah Zamani


Healthcare complexes exemplify many features of complex buildings since they expand over time to accommodate growth and the ever increasing specialization of branches of clinical medicine. We understand and use buildings by moving through them. Especially in hospital complexes, intelligibility of movement is critical for the functioning and the interfacing among patients, visitors and healthcare professionals. This thesis focuses on the redesign of the circulation system in Piedmont Hospital complex in Atlanta GA, which has expanded over the years into a sprawling complex labyrinth of pavilions. In 1957, Piedmont started on Peachtree street with just one central building. A series of eight different building extensions altered the flow of this site over time making the circulation non-intelligible.

The thesis explores what constitutes intelligible circulation within a space. This exploration will compare different architectural methods used to make effective circulation in hospitals. The precedent analysis of several cases investigates various types of circulation and their effects on the functioning of hospitals. The thesis proposes a design intervention that claims that an intelligible circulation system of corridors and public areas helps building way-finding and user satisfaction. Specifically, this thesis investigates how the intelligibility of circulation systems is primarily addressed through architectural means of spatial connectivity, hierarchy, visual connections, topology, tectonics; rather than incorporating technology and signage to solve these concerns. These issues are common in all other hospitals in varying degrees. Therefore, these findings can be adapted and implemented to redress other hospitals circulation contentions. The resultant of this thesis is to develop a layout for the existing hospital, which uses architectural methods to design for a better circulation that will inherently benefit the people and the occupants.